Review: Don’t Get Caught

Don't Get Caught
Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh, this book. It was more three and a half rather then three stars for me…I just can’t mark the four star option, though.

It starts off great. This insane prankster club invites this guy, Max, who sees himself as plain and boring, to join them. And it was all a ruse. He and his four friends get caught up in this deceit and destruction. And now they have to exact revenge and take out Chaos Club before they can be expelled from school.

Sounds like quite the caper.

And, admittedly, it was. There were parts where the pranks shined through. But, not shiny enough to keep my attention. Part of it was the down times between pranks. It got boring for me. Part of it was trying to keep the five people involved in this tale straight–it would have helped to have them going by the same names all of the time instead of “code names” and nicknames and first interchanging with last on a rapid basis. It wasn’t too bothersome about halfway through once I got used to all the quick changing names.

The real winner part of this book was the VERY TWISTY ENDING. It was shocking, yet I knew part of it was coming because of the things said in the earlier chapters. It was a good story with a fantastic ending, though. #SPOILERFREEZONE

I don’t think there was any one part of the book I hated. I enjoyed it for the most part. There’s not much more to say, except I wished it was funnier. Maybe I was expecting something mega adventure, and it wasn’t as adventurous as I had in my mind from the description… I can’t figure why it’s only three for me.

*A JULY/AUGUST MOVE READ* ~ Maybe my mind was too busy on the move to really fall in love with this one…Maybe.

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Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I know a lot of the HP mega fans have disliked this book, but I thought it was FANTASTIC! (I’m not a mega fan, but I did enjoy the books. Even had to stop at a book store while on the road to pick up a copy or two. Still haven’t seen the movies, though.)

A quick read, being in play format (mostly dialogue with some direction). It was like a super awesome fanfiction/retelling/brand new story.

By that, I mean: All of the characters to love and hate from the original Harry Potter series were in there. In addition, new characters were added (mostly the adulting Wizard’s children) to make this story shine. There were potions and spells and pieces from the original story that made the new story it fit with the old one that I know. I felt like I was right back at Hogwarts…and taken away from there all over again.

Where this book’s description went wrong, was making it seem like the story is more about adult Harry rather than keeping the focus on Albus Sevrus, who is the main character, IMO. And maybe that’s why the mega fans aren’t too happy about it. I just thought it was a great new twist…experiencing Hogwarts from a young first timer’s perspective all over again. Then growing up with Hogwarts from a different point of view all over again and having new adventures while revisiting the old.

I flat out loved this story. It was fun and a quick read (less than a day for me…especially since I couldn’t put it down). I recommend it. I think it adds to the series. Sorry, mega fans.

(not sorry)

*A JULY/AUGUST MOVING READ* – LOVED IT!

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Review: Unrivaled

Unrivaled
Unrivaled by Alyson Noel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Catching up on all my book reviews not done from this move today…

This was a two to two and a half at the most for me. Which is highly disappointing after reading raves about this book. I went in with the highest of hopes.

I think because it was touted as a YA mystery. What is wasn’t was YA…and…sheesh…the mystery didn’t kick in until almost the end of the book. Sort of.

It starts off okay with the disappearance of the hot “it” actress, Madison Brooks. But that was a few pages at most. The story goes off on a far tangent, dividing into three stories–Layla’s, Tommy’s, and Aster’s–though all focusing on one contest to become a club promoter. And that’s where it started to fall apart.

Nothing felt cohesive or solid, even though the characters were all revolving in this contest. It felt so first person, but was third person to read. Eventually, there were five characters stories going around. Not that I got confused, but some of it wasn’t information relative to the story…parts that could have been left out so the real story could shine. And the characters weren’t mysterious. All of their lives were pretty much spilled out in the first chapters…

By the time any mystery kicked in, I was kicking myself for not DNF’ing it. I kept hoping it would change for the better. The real story was going to start…and it didn’t. I think this book was a preface, really. Book 2 is looming out there in the future, and I’m willing to bet, book 2 is where this story will shine it’s brightest.

Honestly, I’d say wait for book 2 before reading this. Book 1 just…SMH…It fell flat for me.

*A JULY/AUGUST READ ON THE MOVE* mood level: frustrated

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Review: Kissing in America

Kissing in America
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review might wind up sounding like a zippy movie blurb:

“Five Stars! Heartwarming! It’ll make you laugh! It’ll make you cry! The must read YA book of 2016!” (Though I think it came out last year?)

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. It spoke to me on MANY MANY levels. The blurb for the book makes it feel slightly shallow, but this book has a soul. One that I hated to put down when I had to pack something or clean something for the quickly impending move. It was beautiful!

Eva Roth is a sixteen year old girl who is in love with Romance Books, the historical and oddly/funnily worded type. Eva has been dealing with her dad’s death and trying to communicate with her mom, a womanyst and professor who thinks brushing it away is the best way to deal. She meets a guy in tutoring named Will. And falls for him. Hard. And after becoming closer with him, both sharing dark secrets about their losses and families, he moves to Los Angeles. She decides to go visit him and the best way to get there is have her best friend Annie try out for “The Smartest Girl in America”, a game show with a scholarship as a prize.

This book was like mini stories combined in one great tale. There was the falling in love. The game show. The travel across the country…and the addition of Eva’s Aunt Janet, the crazy woman who thinks everyone on the planet has an STD. (I swear she makes me laugh!)

It starts off asking what’s wrong with romance…but winds up more than a tale of love and how a teenager needs to be with her man boyfriend teenage guy friend. That’s why it seems shallow in the description. This has a lesson in life and death. Lessons in being okay with who you are whether the smartest girl in the US or a romantic or even a gung-ho girl power guru. Lessons about love gained and love lost and all the different kinds of love to hold onto or lose forever.

All told in a creative, fun way.

I’d recommend this book to any girl out there–any personality, old or young, at any phase in their life.

*A BEACH READ ~ JULY 2016*

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Review: Anything Could Happen

Anything Could Happen
Anything Could Happen by Will Walton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m really torn with this book. I want to love it so much, and yet, I can’t get behind it like that. And usually, I love LGBTQ stories…even angsty teen ones about coming out.

Which this should have been. Angsty and heartbreaking and so full of emotion. There was just a lack of that. It just was. More like an account of this thing that happened that one time without a real beginning or real end. For me, that is.

So, Tretch–aka Richard III in his family/Junior Junior–the MC who is gay, who is in love with his best friend, who is trying to navigate life in a rural town in the south…I’m still voting in the Carolinas somewhere (I might have missed it). One day during church, the bullied Tretch realizes: I love Matt Gooby, my straight best friend.

From there, the story should have flown with such speed and intensity. Instead, it walked along, sometimes even falling on its hands and knees and crawled. The events were slow, wandering, and the emotion part just wasn’t there for me. It wasn’t complicated, nor was it painful to read. Maybe I missed something??? I…I…

Don’t get me wrong, there is a story there. But it was more like a diary of I went here and did this and went there and did this and “Will I come out to my parents?” sometimes. Every time I read a new problem or event, it fell, my hopes dashed.

Then the ending…It was one of those Rules of Attraction endings where the character just walks off and your left thinking: “That was it? That’s the end? What about…?” and so on. *heavy sigh* I don’t know what’s going to happen with his parents, the bully, his best friend’s reasons for an event…

I can get behind an ending like that, but only if it feels like there’s more coming. This feels fully finished, even though it’s far from that.

So three stars. A good read, but not great. I would recommend something like Two Boys Kissing for a GREAT LGBTQ read before this one. So very sadly.

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